The recovery process after dental implant surgery is not to be underestimated. Besides the pain associated with dental implant surgery, a lot of people are also worried that they may not be able to eat like they normally do.
While it rings true that you should alter your diet during the healing phase, it should be noted that these changes are easy to incorporate when you are provided with the right kind of information. This post will look into the dental implant recovery diet that you can use to improve healing and make your journey less painful. Stick around.
How long after dental implants can I eat normally?
You will be instructed to avoid eating solid food for a week or two after your implant surgery and instead stick with a cool liquid diet. It takes time for the gum area to close and heal. If you introduce hard foods too soon, you will harm the wound.
You will have to wait for at least two weeks to be able to eat normally. In the meantime, you should avoid hot foods. Of course, before you have the restoration crown in place, you will still find it hard to eat certain foods because of the gap that the missing teeth caused.
You don't have to give up all your favourite foods but you should be more patient.
Foods you should avoid after implant surgery
- Sticky foods (caramel, taffy)
- Tough foods (raw vegetables, raw apples)
- Crunchy foods (popcorn, chips)
- Spicy foods (hot peppers, curry, salsa)
- Acidic foods (oranges and tomatoes)
- Chewy foods (gummies)
- Hot liquids
Soft foods to eat after dental implant surgery: day 1 to 3
So, you know that you should not eat crunchy foods, spicy foods, chewy foods, and hot foods. But what can you eat then?
The dental implant procedure involves drilling into your gums, and sometimes your jaw bone, which puts them in a very vulnerable position. Therefore, you should treat them the same way you treat a wound - with care. The first day after surgery you should follow a soft-food diet, preferably cold foods. Try not to engage in a lot of chewing that day.
The best picks are meal replacement drinks, cold soups, smoothies and other soft foods as they are packed with essential nutrients that will help with healing and keep your energy levels up. Applesauce is another great option alongside other cold sauces and drinks. Opt-out of consuming liquids that are hot. Heat is not your friend at this point.
Here is an overview:
- Scrambled eggs
- Instant oatmeal
- Mashed potatoes
- Herbal tea
- Bone broths
- Greek yoghurt
- Puréed soup
- Ground beef
- Healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil)
Needless to say, you should not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages for several days after the dental implant surgery.
Further to this, it is vital to not use a straw when drinking liquids. Although it may seem like a great idea, the suction motion will put pressure on the surgical site and hamper healing.
You want to stick with soft food for at least a week.
Can you eat protein on a soft-food diet?
One of the challenges of being on a strictly soft-food diet is keeping your protein intake high. Being solid and chewy, most protein foods can give you a hard time in the first days following the dental implant surgery.
However, protein is of great importance for dental implant healing. It not only helps to combat infection but also repairs muscle and other tissues, as well as carries oxygen throughout the body. In fact, you need to eat more protein than ever now. That’s why you should add protein supplements such as protein powder to your food to enhance your body's healing abilities.
What to eat after dental implant surgery: week 2
As the days go by, dental implants patients can gradually reintroduce solid foods to their regimen. Some of the options include:
- Fish and chicken: These belong in the category of soft foods, therefore they are perfect for the occasion. Make sure to chop them into smaller pieces and have small bites so you don’t have to chew vigorously.
- Potatoes have a soft texture no matter how they are cooked. Whether you choose sweet potatoes or regular potatoes, it doesn't matter. In the beginning, you can go with mashed potatoes and then introduce other options.
- Eggs: Omelettes and scrambled eggs will help you get enough protein while also keeping you full. They can be mixed with veggies for some extra nutrients and flavour.
- Soft dairy products: cottage cheese, yoghurt, and milk are a great source of protein and calcium and they are also easy to chew.
- Ground beef and other softer meats
- Soft fruits: the likes of bananas, raspberries, strawberries, and currants are a perfect choice
- Soft bread: after a few days post-op, you can add soft bread to your diet
- Steamed vegetables: what a better way to add some vitamins to your diet without harming the wound! Steamed veggies are easy on your tummy as well.
Other things you can do to speed up the healing process
Oral surgery is not easy on the body, for which reason you ought to follow strictly the tips provided by your dental professional.
First off, remember to practice good oral hygiene. Your dentist will give you more details on how to care for the surgical site before you complete your dental implants treatment.
Second, take time to rest. In order to heal faster, your body needs to be left alone for a while. This means you should rest as much as possible on the first few days post-op.
Moreover, drink enough water - hydration is a key factor throughout the recovery period, so make sure to get enough water.
In the rare case that you are a diabetic getting implants, you should monitor your glucose frequently to avoid diabetic-related complications.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before you complete your dental implants journey, you will be faced with a few dietary restrictions. The first 10 days following the implant post placement into your gums, you will be encouraged to eat the following foods: soft foods like cottage cheese and other dairy products, potatoes, soft fruits, and smoothies.
Once the healing process is over, you will go back to your normal eating habits. And as soon as you get dental implants in place of your missing teeth, you will forget this ever happened.